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Own-goal drama earns Astana first point

Astana 2-2 Galatasaray
The home side, who trailed twice in the Group C contest, profited from two of three own goals in the last 14 minutes to earn their first point.

Highlights: Astana 2-2 Galatasaray
Highlights: Astana 2-2 Galatasaray
  • Astana record their first group stage point thanks to two of three late own goals
  • UEFA club competition debutant Bilal Kisa gives Galatasaray the lead
  • Astana keeper Nenad Erić, Galatasaray's Hakan Balta, Lionel Carole put through own net 
  • Next matches: Atlético v Astana, Galatasaray v Benfica (21 October) 

Astana profited from two late own goals against Galatasaray, who led twice, to earn Kazakhstan their first UEFA Champions League point.

Much like the frantic last 14 minutes – when the visitors retook the lead through an own goal of their own, credited to Astana keeper Nenad Erić – the early tempo of the Group C contest was high.

Astana were desperate to make an impression on a historic night for the former Soviet republic – hosting a group stage fixture for the first time. Wesley Sneijder, though, did his best to quell the home fans' fervour. The Galatasaray No10 was at the centre of everything the away team created in the first half, trying his luck three times in the opening 25 minutes.

Galatasaray's Bilal Kisa is congratulated
Galatasaray's Bilal Kisa is congratulated©AFP/Getty Images

One of those shots brought an eye-catching, if comfortable, save out of Erić, who could do nothing, however, to keep out Bilal Kisa's 31st-minute drive. The European debutant succeeded where the Netherlands playmaker failed, finding the Astana keeper's bottom right-hand corner with a swerving left-footed strike from upwards of 30 metres.

Astana gave Fernando Muslera little cause for concern until the midway point of the second period, when the sliding Lionel Carole came to Galatasaray's rescue to prevent Baurzhan Dzholchiyev from connecting with a dangerous left-wing cross. 

Home captain Foxi Kéthévoama then side-footed wide another inviting ball, but the goal the local supporters craved was not long in coming. Junior Kabananga took advantage of Semih Kaya's slip inside the box and delivered a cross that Muslera knocked on to the unfortunate Hakan Balta and in. 

Galatasaray regained the initiative with four minutes left when Erić, having parried Sinan Gümüs's cross-cum-shot, touched the ball over the line in a desperate attempt to retrieve the situation. Just as all seemed lost for Astana, though, Muslera's punch was met by the head of Cañas and Carole, trying to clear, could only slice the ball into the roof of the net.    

Key player: Wesley Sneijder

Stanimir Stoilov, Astana coach
This was a historic match for Astana and the whole country. I tried to calm my players and make them play like they do in the Kazakh Premier League – attacking and combination football. We have good players but we have to work harder to achieve success.

Hamza Hamzaoğlu, Galatasaray coach
I must compliment Astana on their spirit. We had ideas about how to make our defence and attack stronger in the second half, while Astana had their own and you know the result. The fans' support was great, the atmosphere wonderful. We twice had the lead so I would say we lost two points instead of gaining one.

©AFP/Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images